When Social Media Marketing Goes Wrong and What You Can Do about It

June 29, 2018 digital marketing

Social Media Marketing Fails That Teach Us To Do Better

There is no escaping social media today. Whether in personal life or the corporate world, social media channels have gained a great deal of visibility and influence.

Silly mistakes and faux pas are inevitable when humans are involved. In personal accounts, the embarrassment of uploading wrong photos or sharing an inappropriate article can be laughed off.

But social media fails by corporate accounts can have a cascading impact on a company’s reputation and sales, which can be avoided with a reliable content marketing company.

Here are some of the major fails by companies which went viral and the lessons we can learn from them.

Dove’s racially insensitive online campaign

Global personal care brand Dove got embroiled in a controversy in 2017 after its ad for a body lotion showed a black woman becoming a white woman by using its product.  The video campaign posted on Facebook was widely criticised for failing to take into account negative racial undertones. The brand withdrew the campaign and released an apology for missing “the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully.”

Lesson:  Remember to vet your ad thoroughly by taking into account different perspectives.

Cinnabon’s failed attempt to tap into a trending topic

In 2016, after Carrie Fisher the much-loved Star Wars star passed away. Cinnabon a well-known American chain of baked goods posted a tribute on Twitter which enraged fans.

The tweet showed a sketch of Fisher’s character in Star Wars, Princess Leia, with Cinnabon Classic Roll replacing the character’s famed side bun hairstyle. The accompanying message read: “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” Fans found the idea tacky and tasteless.

Lesson: Brands looking to connect with users often ride on trending topics. However, if no natural association can be made between the topic and your brand, it is better to stay out of it.

Adidas’ Sends Out A Thoughtless  Message

In April 2017, after the famed Boston Marathon ended, the sportwear brand Adidas sent out emails to its subscribers with the subject: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon.”   

It seemed like the Adidas team had forgotten about the horrific 2013 bombing of the event which killed three and injured hundreds others.  Several people pointed out to Adidas just how insensitive the message was, and the company issued an apology on Twitter.

Lesson: Brands must be hyper-aware of the ad copy they use and follow the best practices like multiple people checking for problematic concepts.

Protect yourself from such fails by partnering with a well-reputed content writing and graphic design company.

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